Art Prize Exhibition Celebrates Rural And Regional LGBT Victorians

Art Prize Exhibition Celebrates Rural And Regional LGBT Victorians

All across Victoria, art enthusiasts eagerly awaited Queerthentic, an exhibition celebrating the lived experience of rural and regional LGBTQIA+ Victorians, which opened on January 25, 2024 at The Old Auction House, Kyneton.

Queerthentic is an opportunity to celebrate the rural and regional LGBTQIA+ experience, with works that tell authentic stories and tackle the complex subjects brought up by isolation, intolerance and the unique joy of finding community.

Art from and for the community

The exhibitors hail from all across Victoria, ranging from professional full-time creatives to newcomers in the art scene, including one artist who is still in secondary school. Queerthentic is presented by Macedon Ranges Accessible Arts Inc. (MRAAI) in partnership with Midsumma and the Victorian Government as part of Victoria’s Pride Regional Activation Program with support by sponsors including Collective Possibilities and Bendigo Bank’s Trentham branch.

Founded in April 2022, the not-for-profit, volunteer-run MRAAI’s goal is increasing arts accessibility to marginalised communities, including persons living with disabilities, older members of the community facing housing instability and the LGBTQIA+ community. MRAAI’s first exhibition That’s So Gay in 2023 was rebranded as Queerthentic for 2024, in recognition of the authentic stories artists share through their work. Last year’s exhibition attracted around 1800 participants, including artists, volunteers and enthusiastic audiences who helped select the 2023 People’s Choice award-winner Flag and Natives 1, by Sam Lucas.

Prizes sing art’s praises

Inaugural first prize winner Christos Linou recently exhibited Fuck and Flee (January 4–22, 2024) as part of his prize for A Stitch in Queer Time. Linou’s exhibition of semi-abstract oil paintings on canvas and erotic stories also featured an operatic recital performance of segments of Linou’s writing by James Titokowaru and Ivan Pero. This year’s Queerthentic winner will also win an opportunity for a solo exhibition in 2025 at The Old Auction House along with their cash prize.

Creativity is Divine

The pieces in the running for this year’s prizes are inspired by a range of experiences, contexts, identities and local, international and personal LGBTQIA+ icons including Nina Simone and Divine. Many of the submitted works engage with the artists’ personal lived Queer experience intersecting with their neurodiversity or disability. Queer, disabled and non-binary artist, therapist and educator August Wolff (it/they) will present Radical Geometry, exploring the “inevitable tension that arises from colouring outside the lines and living in a way that dances inside, outside and on top of the boxes that society creates for us.” Visitors will be treated to works in a range of materials and approaches, including textiles, sculptures in ceramic and found objects, relief prints, and I love her, a work produced by Aramis Julian Jenkin (any pronouns), who uses their whole body to produce works on paper across multiple sessions, sometimes taking hours at a time.

When: Until February 12, 2024

Where: The Old Auction House, 52-56 Mollison St, Kyneton, Victoria


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